‘Turbulence’ as eThekwini’s architect quits

2014-10-25 00:00

ETHEKWINI’s veteran head architect has suddenly quit his powerful role — and warned of “turbulence” in his wake.

Widely respected by local residents’ groups and credited with reshaping the city over 15 years, Jonathan Edkins said he had decided to leave “after some soul searching”.

In a long farewell statement, Edkins hinted at executive friction within the municipality, noting “recent disappointments”, and saying “many [city leaders] have been inspirational, although some have disappointed in their inability to recognise the value of a collaborative approach to city management”.

However, Edkins — a leader of major projects from the ICC and the Point to the vast Inner City Revitalisation programme — also indicated his pride at a lengthy list of Durban’s landmark achievements.

“I have been privileged to be part of exciting transformation and regeneration programmes, including initiation and leadership roles in the ICC, Warwick Junction Project, Point and uShaka, King’s Park Soccer and Athletic Stadium redevelopments, the priority zones and urban management zones,” he said. “I was the pioneer in the first post-apartheid urban regeneration projects of the ‘township areas’, and introduced to the municipality the concept of ‘affirmative procurement’ with the ICC team.”

He said the city manager had signed his early retirement yesterday.

Edkins added: “I will be spending the next three months assisting with a smooth transition. There are many capable professionals in the department. They will bring new ideas, fresh approaches and enthusiasm to the unit, and I am confident that they will ride out the initial turbulence which comes with major institutional change.”

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